Winter means less boating fun. Backyard boats end up full of snow. If your drifter does not deflate, you may just park it in the back yard. Eventually, it will fill up with water and freeze solid. Cabinets and fittings will expand and contract forming cracks and damage.
Here are some storage tips.
Buy a cover or tarp. A full protection boat cover is a quick solution. Try making a boat length ridge pole to support the covering so it will not puddle up on top of sagging covers.
Tilt the boat. Prop up the front hitch so that any water will drain out the stern drain hole. Remove the plug and keep handy, so you do not lose it. Check the hole periodically to make sure that no leaves or crud block the drain. Some guys slide the tilted boat onto the ground and keep it tethered to the trailer. Usually, their boat fills with ice or water since the drain hole is blocked.
Store the oars indoors. Oars made of wood will weather outdoors. Its best to put them in a shed or garage. Support them so they will remain flat and true. Plastic oars become brittle in the icy cold and can fracture. The rope wraps on the oars will also degrade from exposure.
Protect the anchor rope. Remove and store the anchor rope. You need it at full strength when hauling in a heavy anchor. If the rope degrades, you will notice when the anchor gets snagged and you try to pull it up. The rope will fail, and your anchor is history.
Protect the tires. Use a tire cover or wood to keep the tires out of the sun. The sun and cold will cause the sidewalls to crack and weaken. You can also take the weight off the tires using clocks.
Clean out any storage cabinets. You do not want to leave your fly floatant, gels, or other expensive nick knacks in the boat. If the boat fills, so will the cabinets. Mice may also find your gloves, flies, or other stuff and make a nest from them.
Boats are not cheap! Make sur that you help your boat stay afloat for years to come.
For more Montana Grant, find him and his boat protected at www.montanagrantfishing.com.